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Like to Rest my Bones Besides the Fire April 1, 2006

Posted by KG in FS Life, Pakistan.
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Sorry for the relative lack of updates, photos, and the like.  The good ole' DoS has a policy wherein one cannot attach personal peripherals to work computers (smart) and I haven't been spending much time at my current place of lodging, anyway.  But its Saturday, so instead of working, I'm blogging.  From the office.

On leaving the Motel Aat this morning I wondered why the heck I was going in to work on such a beautiful day (Islamabad weather report: 80 degrees, sunny, no humidity, not a cloud in the sky).  Then I realized it had nothing to do with the rather large pile of work I have or the lure of overtime pay (though that is nice).  Or the general situation in Pakistan right now, which as you may have read is less than optimal.  The real reason?  I hate my living situation with a passion.  Forgive my language, but I quickly tire of the obsequious staff of my guest house, surrounding me constantly, trying to pamper me while the bathroom is roach-ridden, a house where the internet is about as fast as my old 14.4, my dinner takes roughly 1.5 hours to make, and their guard disappears inexplicably.  Embassy Islamabad (and indeed, Mission Pakistan) likes to make sure that all housing here, temp or not, has a 24 hour guard.  Unfortunately, the owner of my guest house appears to have pulled a fast one on the USG and Akram, a very sweet gravel-mouthed Pathan, is less than effective as a protective force.  Guys, here's a hint: if you want to provide near-invasive, entirely excessive service, try to do so in a place where the amenities provided warrant such.  Like not Islamabad.  And the things that Islamabad requires, like quality chokidaar service?  Please do it well. 

Still, things are not all bad.  I've received a housing assignment and inshallah will be departing said Motel Aat not a moment too soon — and my location is great, on a quiet block in a more lively sector of town.  And the housing thing opens up shopping possibilities I have not yet indulged in, like furniture.  And textiles.  And, umm, more textiles. 

Also in the column of not-so-bad things: frisbee.  I think that prior to Pakistan, the last time I threw a frisbee I was in that wonderful stage of life where "Slaughterhouse-5" was the pinnacle of literature and parents just didn't understand, which is to say about 14.  But week two of playing frisbee with a batch of Marines and ex-Marines (with a few civilians scattered throughout) has me believing that Ultimate Frisbee is not the Vassar-going, pukka-shell wearing sport I thought it was.  These kids play and play hard, and it's a blast.  The biggest laugh of the day came from the mouth of a young Marine who I'll call "Mr. Orange," who uttered the immortal words "They should start playing this in college, I bet it would be really popular."

Embassy Islamabad Marine Security Guards, you slay me with alarming consistency.     

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